There were early indications that Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta would return to the team’s active roster late in the regular. As November approaches, it is becoming a more realistic scenario.
Pitta, a fourth year veteran with the Ravens, suffered from a dislocated hip early in training camp after colliding with a teammate in the back of the end zone while trying to catch a pass from quarterback Joe Flacco. Pitta underwent surgery for the injury the following day.
Reports indicated that Pitta would miss the entire 2013 season.
But Ravens fans became hopeful that they would see number 88 out on the field this season after the team placed Pitta on injured reserve. With Pitta on IR, he is eligible to return after Week 8, meaning he could play in the Ravens next game against the Cleveland Browns.
However, Pitta will not be out on the playing field right away. Head coach John Harbaugh told reporters that Pitta is on track to return later this season, but the actual return date has yet to be determined.
“Everything is on schedule,” Harbaugh said. “There have been no setbacks with Dennis, so we’ll just have to see how it goes. Until we get him on the field and see him start running around, I think we’ll know more then. I’m looking forward to that. That will be very interesting.
Last season, Pitta was one of Flacco’s favorite targets with 61 receptions for 669 yards and seven touchdowns.
Since Pitta’s injury, the Ravens have struggled in the tight end position. Ed Dickson, who has played alongside Pitta for the past four seasons, has been inconsistent so far this season. The Ravens brought in Dallas Clark from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to help fill Pitta’s position. It took Clark some time to adjust to the Ravens offense, but in recent weeks, he has been a reliable receiver for Flacco.
It is likely that Pitta will return in mid to late November.